JACKSONVILLE – If Jeremy Mincey needs to fight in the coming weeks, he says he will.
And he said that's really nothing new.
But when it comes to the situation Mincey faces this week, Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said the veteran defensive lineman's approach actually can be pretty simple.
"I think he's got to just come back and go to work," Bradley said Wednesday afternoon as the Jaguars (2-9) prepared to play the Cleveland Browns (4-7) at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, Sunday at 1 p.m.
Mincey, a six-year veteran defensive lineman, did not travel with the Jaguars to their game against the Houston Texans on Sunday for a violation of team rules. Mincey told reporters Wednesday he was punished for oversleeping and missing a team meeting, and that that wasn't the lone issue.
Mincey, who told reporters a new business and new baby had distracted him, practiced with the Jaguars Wednesday and said he expects to be active Sunday.
"It's time to refocus and rededicate myself to football," Mincey said, adding, "We're all human and we all make mistakes."
Mincey also told reporters he appreciated Bradley's handling of the situation, and said he had been negligent in being a team leader and role model. Bradley said he and Mincey spoke extensively about the situation Saturday and again Monday, and that he challenged Mincey to return to work.
"No talking and no anything else – just work and regain the trust through that," Bradley said. "That's the challenge for him right now. I think we're at the point we don't want to hear any more. We just want to see it."
Mincey said he will fight to re-earn respect in the locker room – and he said that's really nothing new.
"I've been earning my keep my whole time I've been in Jacksonville," he said. "I've been cut three times -- why not fight now? I'll never give in. I'll never give up. I've dug out of deeper holes than this; I'll dig out of this hole. I'm just going to come in and refocus and do everything I need to do.
"I want to be a Jaguar. I have a lot of love and respect for Coach Gus Bradley and the way he does things. I appreciate him giving me the time to refocus and dedicate myself to football, so you can see the real player in me – and I can get back to who I really am."
Bradley called Mincey "a good football player," and said the punishment was just about him believing that was the appropriate action for the situation.
"I just felt in my heart that's what we need to do, putting the whole picture together," Bradley said. "I think he needed to reevaluate some things. We need him to be right. I felt like he needed some time to get right."
*Guard Uche Nwaneri said Sunday's improvement in the running game was about consistency and continuing to focus on the area. Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew rushed for a season-high 84 yards and the team's 118 yards rushing were a season-high. "We worked a lot on the fundamentals we needed to tighten up on, like working on double teams and staying square on defenders when we're trying to move them off the ball," Nwaneri said. "The running backs did a great job find the seams and finding the holes. We were able to get into a good rhythm as the game went on and with the focused effort we kept putting in the run game, we're starting to find that rhythm with it."…
*Wide receiver Stephen Burton (concussion) and running back Justin Forsett (foot) missed practice with injuries, as did linebacker Geno Hayes (knee), defensive end Andre Branch (knee), defensive tackle Roy Miller (shoulder) and guard Will Rackley (illness). Forsett is out four-to-six weeks, and Bradley said Burton also likely will miss Sunday…
*Wide receiver Mike Brown and cornerback Will Blackmon each returned to practice on a limited basis after missing Sunday's game with an AC joint (shoulder) injury….
*Offensive tackle Cameron Bradfield (bicep), safety Winston Guy (shoulder), wide receiver Cecil Shorts III (groin) and linebacker J.T. Thomas (ankle) also worked on a limited basis.
*Forsett likely will be placed on injured reserve, Bradley said, adding that he and Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell will continue to evaluate the situation….
*Center Brad Meester, Jones-Drew, defensive end Jason Babin and defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks all missed practice with veteran days off….
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